Real Men Sow

Strange Strawberry Goings On – How Much Money Can Growing Your Own Save Me? September Update

Compared to August, September was a pretty low key month. It was the first month this year where an upward trajectory of savings hasn’t continued, and perhaps one of the biggest signs so far that Autumn is here, despite the balmy weather.

I used £56.41 of produce; picking 39 times at an average of £1.45 a go compared to 52 pickings worth £88.74 in August.

Toms & Raspberries
My toms made the biggest contribution to the saving again this month. I harvested 3.8kg worth £23.57, which made up roughly a third of my total September saving.

Half a kilo of Autumn Bliss raspberries contributed £7, but I was more satisfied with these for the taste and timing. My earlies have been rubbish again this year, but my Bliss seem to always produce an increasing amount of big, juicy berries.

If I were limited in space, I think I’d grow these rather than earlies. That way you get room to stagger strawbs at the beginning of summer, and then raspberries towards the end.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I also find the Bliss much tastier than my early varieties.

French Beans and Strange Strawberry Harvests
I have made two sowings of French beans this year, and the second plants are going great guns for me now. I picked 1.3kg during September, worth £11.42. I’ve been harvesting French beans since the beginning of July now, uninterrupted.

Maybe I’m finally working this successional planting thing out.

The weirdest harvest for some time have been a second crop of strawberries during the first half of the month. Don’t know if its because of this barmy weather, but I picked 344g of strawberries. They were quite small, but a real unexpected treat this time of the year, and roughly the value of a pint of beer, which is always a bonus.

Beetroot
I must make more of an effort to eat my beetroot though. They’re becoming the forgotten man of my plot, which is very odd as I love the earthy purple balls. I used just over a kilo of beets last month to the value of £3.64, but that’s nothing compared to previous years on the plot.

I really don’t know how I’ve overlooked them, as they are one of my very favourite veg to grow. There is still a row and a half untouched, so October job number one is to get picking and eating ‘em, in any way, shape or form.

Now where’s that beetroot cake recipe…

You can have an in-depth look at my progress by clicking here to view the 2011 Veg Savings Spreadsheet working version. Please feel free to download it, and let me know how you get on.

If you’d like to read my previous montly updates, click here.

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2 Comments

  1. KaiOctober 6, 2011 at 11:14 amReply

    For beetroot, I can recommend the recipe for beetroot relish in Pam Corbin’s River Cottage Preserves book – it’s a bit of a chore to make as you have to grate the beetroot (but then, you have to do that for beetroot cake too) but it’s divine to eat.

  2. Real Men Sow » Blog Archive » Bigging Up Beets, Real Men Sow Beetroot Week and a Brilliant Beety WebsiteOctober 9, 2011 at 5:57 pmReply

    [...] Strange Strawberry Goings On – How Much Money Can Growing Your Own Save Me? September Update [...]

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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Allotment Cakes for the Weekend

  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #11 – Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #10 – Fresh Ginger and Apple Cake
  • Good Food Magazine Marrow and Pecan Cake
  • A Rhubarbey Roundup, and Whatever Happened to Allotment Cakes for the Weekend?
  • (Not) An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #7 Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #7 Waitrose Rhubarb, Macadamia and White Chocolate Cake
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #6 – Carl Legge’s Rhubarb and Polenta Cake
  • (A Disappointing) Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #5 – Rhubarb and Custard Muffins

Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.

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